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Coroner rules deaths of friends who were pulled from Lake Erie after going missing in Feb. accidental

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Posted at 12:07 PM, Aug 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 12:07:09-04

LORAIN, Ohio — Months after the bodies of Nathan Orona and Alaina Camacho were pulled from Lake Erie after they went missing in February, the Lorain County Coroner’s Office determined their cause of death was asphyxia by drowning along with environmental hypothermia, according to an update provided by the Lorain County Sheriff’s Department Friday.

The coroner determined their deaths to be accidental.

The sheriff’s office said in a news release that the coroner’s findings corroborate discoveries made during the investigation.

The body of 20-year-old Orona was pulled from Lake Erie on Sunday, March 28 after a fisherman fishing off a pier east of the Hot Water boat launch, reported seeing a body floating in Lake Erie. The following day, the body of 18-year-old Camacho and a gold car were pulled from the lake.

Both Orona and Camacho were last seen on Feb. 1 leaving the Sheffield Estates Apartments near Lorain. It was the last time family members said anyone saw or heard from the pair.

An update on the investigation Friday revealed that the headlights on the vehicle driven by Camacho were off before entering the water.

The sheriff’s office and the Lorain Police Department Traffic Accident Reconstructionist determined this by inspecting the headlamp bulb on the vehicle.

Investigators examined the filaments of the bulbs, looking for “hot shock deformation,” which is the uncoiling or deformation of the filament. The more uncoiling or deformation of the filament, the stronger the evidence that the lamp was on, according to police.

Police said since there was no deformation, it indicated that the headlights were off before the car went off the end of the pier into the frigid water.

“With the headlights off investigators can only speculate that Camacho was unaware that the pier was ending,” investigators said in the release.

The sheriff’s office said with the verdict determined, the investigation is closed.

“The Lorain County Sheriff’s Office would like to again extend our condolences to both families involved in this tragic accident and hope that this brings closure to the families who can now focus on the healing process," the release states.

RELATED: 'He was a fighter' — Family of missing man speaks for first time since body was found in Lake Erie

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